Category Archives: Decision Making

Attacking with Depth


  • a 3 v 3 + 3 (or similar, based on numbers)
  • the 3 v 3 plays in the 18 to goal
  • the +3 start with the ball above the 18
  • the +3 pass to find seams for service or in the defense
  • the 3 v 3 move and attack from the entry pass of the +3
  • the 3 v 3 can pass back to the +3
  • the defense can’t defend the +3

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.


4 v 1 + 4 v 1



I would probably add a conditioning piece for the three not passing, plus it makes the transition potentially more difficult, but otherwise interesting.


Defending in a Box


I’ve done a variation of this, I think with a circle and with more players (and maybe as keeper practice), but I like how this isolates the defender and forces the defender to move and think.



Four Goal Chaos


If you have one (or two) big goals (I’m assuming I won’t have four big goals), you could restrict the shooting, i.e. after two small-goal-shots, you have to shoot at the big goal with a goalie.





The Importance of (Situational) Decision Making

Saw this goal in the Belgium – Ireland game and it illustrates nicely how important knowing your situation and how that should impact your decision making is.

The poor decision by the Irish defender to go sliding after the ball at midfield creates basically a 3 v 1 and a near certain goal.

If the Irish defender had simply angled his run in front of the Belgian player, he could have held up the counterattack enough to allow his teammates to recover and help.

Here are the factors that influence the play:

  • Down 2-0 in the 70th minute, Ireland is obviously pressing. Fewer bodies are behind the ball to begin with and so defense must play conservatively to maintain what coverage they have.
  • It is a 50-50 ball at best. At worst, the Irish defender doesn’t have a chance.
  • The slide tackle makes sure that he cannot return to the play. In fact, the Irish player who lost the ball (yards from the opposite endline) sprints the entire field to cover once the defender takes himself out of the play.

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.


5 v 5 with Blocked Goals

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 9.19.40 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-25 at 9.19.51 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-25 at 9.20.04 AM


Attacking to the Goalie (SCCC 2016, Ian Barker)

I like this because it takes the onus of scoring away and, by requiring a ball in the air, forces teams to think about how to set things up a few steps in advance. 

Some progressions (from me):

  • Take points away from goalie for a not-clean catch
  • Put a far zone to give more points for a longer service to the goalie